Saturday, 16 March 2013

UN says US drones violate Pakistan's sovereignty

 
The head of a United Nations team investigating casualties from United States drone strikes in Pakistan declared after a secret research trip to the country that the attacks violate Pakistan's sovereignty.

1 comment:

Guanyu 道 said...

UN says US drones violate Pakistan's sovereignty

16 March 2013

ISLAMABAD (AP) - The head of a United Nations team investigating casualties from United States drone strikes in Pakistan declared after a secret research trip to the country that the attacks violate Pakistan's sovereignty.

Ben Emmerson, the UN special rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism, said the Pakistani government made clear to him that it does not consent to the strikes - a position that has been disputed by U.S. officials.

President Barack Obama has stepped up covert CIA drone strikes targeting Al Qaeda and Taleban militants in Pakistan's tribal region along the Afghan border since he took office in 2009.

The strikes have caused growing controversy because of the secrecy surrounding them and claims that they have caused significant civilian casualties - allegations denied by the United States.

According to a U.N. statement that Mr Emmerson emailed to The Associated Press on Friday, the Pakistani government told him it has confirmed at least 400 civilian deaths by U.S. drones on its territory. The statement was initially released on Thursday, following the investigator's three-day visit to Pakistan, which ended Wednesday. The visit was kept secret until Emmerson left.

Imtiaz Gul, an expert on Pakistani militancy who is helping Mr Emmerson's team, said Friday that the organisation he runs, the Centre for Research and Security Studies, gave the U.N. investigator during his visit case studies on 25 strikes that allegedly killed around 200 civilians.

The U.N. investigation into civilian casualties from drone strikes and other targeted killings in Pakistan and several other countries was launched in January and is expected to deliver its conclusions in October.

The U.S. rarely discusses the strikes in public because of their covert nature. But a few senior officials, including CIA chief John Brennan, have publicly defended the strikes, saying precision weapons help avoid significant civilian casualties.

A 2012 investigation by the AP into 10 of the recent deadliest drone strikes in Pakistan over the previous two years found that a significant majority of the casualties were militants, but civilians were also killed.